Japan Day 7: Tsukiji, Odaiba & More Shenanigans

Originally planned to make it out to Tsukiji Fish Market by 8 am, but we ended up sleeping in until 11… Still, we made it there for a lunch of delicious, fresh sushi. No pics because I was too busy devouring all of it.

My set lunch included: o-toro (fatty tuna), hirame (olive flounder), chuu-toro (medium-fatty tuna), saba (mackerel), kampachi (yellowtail), maguro (tuna), ebi (shrimp), aji (horse mackerel), hotate (scallop), awabi (abalone), uni (my favourite, sea urchin), ikura (salmon roe), unagi (eel), and tamago (egg).

Hopped on the Yurikamome train and crossed the Rainbow Bridge into Odaiba, a man-made island full of shopping malls and commercial buildings. From the Tokyo side of the bridge, you can spot a huge red ferris wheel and the Fuji TV headquarters with its spherical observation deck. We walked over to DiverCity Tokyo Plaza, a shopping centre that also houses the Gundam theme park, Gundam Front Tokyo. In front of the mall stands a RG 1/1 or “lifesized” model of the RX-78-2 Gundam from the original Mobile Suit Gundam anime. It’s certainly a sight to behold.. We spent a few hours shopping around the mall and buying souvenirs from the GFT gift shop. W and I spent quite a bit at Tokyu Hands buying random skincare and makeup oddities, but I was most pleased with my BB Gundam model of the GFT version RX-78-2 – basically a chibi/cute version of the lifesized model. Got one for A too, since I lost that bet before leaving Seoul. >.<

Rushed over to Nihonbashi to meet up with N and J, who we’d met at the teahouse the day before. We joined them and their friends K and M to see the Art Aquarium exhibition, which showcased a blend of glasswork, lighting, art, and live goldfish. Afterwards, we had an amazing, memorable dinner at an izakaya where we joked around and chatted for a long while. We must have looked like the strangest ethnic mix of people conversing in Japanese, Spanish, and English. The food was delicious, and we even tried horse and whale sashimi – both of which were a little jarring, but an experience nonetheless.

Headed into Shibuya and had to say goodbye to O and M before running off into a labyrinth of a residential area in search of a party. N had been invited by a fellow DJ friend to hear his set at “a trendy hairdressers’ party”, so we tagged along and found ourselves in a dark, underground, and extremely sound-proofed club named Air. I was a little alarmed at first because it was so dark and there weren’t that many people on the dance floor despite it being around midnight already. Of the few people who were there, every single one of them was facing the DJ booth and swaying like some kind of cult-ish zombie gathering. Turns out midnight is still early for Tokyo clubbing…

Doing some research after the fact, we discovered that Air is a popular Tokyo club where part of the club scene in Lost in Translation was filmed, and that the headlining DJ that night was Yasutaka Nakata of the group Capsule who has produced albums for Perfume and Kyary Pamyu Pamyu. We, however, were there to meet DJ Kouichi Hirose, who had some amazing sounds in his house/techno set; he had a unique vibe that was a huge contrast from some of the other DJs that night. We had a ton of fun dancing up a storm and being hypemen/girls for him. The crowd seemed quite young and a little wary of the random bunch of foreigners in their midst, but a few people came and joined our dancing circle! The club really started to fill up around 2 am and we found ourselves slowly pushed to the back. My knees were killing me after only 2.5 hours, and I’m not sure if it was because I was wearing Birks (ha! clubbing in sandals, can you imagine?!) or going hard on the dance floor. W and I were pleasantly surprised when two Japanese guys, who we thought were approaching us for not-so-savory reasons, came by just to say that they had fun dancing with us. It was nice to see that the crowd was more about enjoying the music and having fun than about picking up potential partners. Our night was proof to the party animals that sober and innocent clubbing is still freaking amazing (sorry if I sound lame : P).


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